Chip Lupo, Credit Card Writer
To get a better credit card offer, focus on improving your credit score, paying down debt and increasing your income to become a more attractive applicant. If you’ve previously opted out of pre-screened credit card offers, opting back in could also help better offers find their way to you. Checking for prequalification, either online or at a bank branch, is a good approach, too.
If you want to make things easy, you could simply sign up for a free WalletHub account. You’ll get personalized recommendations for credit cards with high approval odds and terms likely to save you money.
The best credit card offers include initial bonuses, 0% introductory APRs, first-year annual fee waivers, and more. There are a number of quality offers out there for applicants of all credit levels, and there are plenty of resources available to help you find the best deal. For example, you can check out our editors’ picks for the best credit card deals to narrow your search for better credit card offers. You can also find more tips below.
How You Can Get a Better Credit Card Offer
Improve your credit score. Generally, the higher your credit score is, the more likely you are to receive the best available credit card offers. Our free personalized credit analysis will tell you what to improve and give you a better sense of how long it will take.
Compare offers. Credit card comparison sites such as WalletHub are a good place to find the best credit card offer for your needs. You can filter your search based on the features that are most important to you and compare credit card offers based on those search results. This way, you won’t have to make a decision about a card you see advertised without knowing what else is out there and whether it’s really any good.
Try an incognito browser. Using your browser’s private/incognito mode may turn up promotional offers that are sometimes better than what you’ll see normally.
Take advantage of direct mail promotions. Some issuers still send pre-approved credit card offers through the mail. Receiving such an offer means the issuer thinks you have a good chance of getting approved, although approval is not guaranteed. You can compare direct mail offers to other promotional offers online to determine if you’re getting a better deal.
Make sure you’re opted in for prescreened offers. You may regularly receive e-mail or direct mail offers from credit card companies, unless you’ve opted out of them. If you’ve previously opted out of receiving these offers, you must opt back in. Electronic opt-outs last for 5 years, and mail opt-outs are either 5 years or permanent, but you can choose to opt back in at any time.
Check your existing account regularly. If you already have a credit card from a specific issuer, you may receive pre-approved offers for other credit cards when you log into your account page. These offers are sometimes better than what you would get if you applied for the card without logging in.
Update your annual income. Credit card issuers periodically ask you to update your annual income when you log into your online account. If you’ve recently gotten a bump in income, updating your account to reflect that could make you eligible for better targeted offers.
Consider credit card referral links from family and friends. Some credit card issuers offer a referral program that allows family and friends to share referral links for a specific credit card. You and the referrer may have an opportunity to earn a credit card sign-up bonus when you use their referral link to apply for the card and get approved. Referral links may be more lucrative than the average credit card offer, but in some cases, you may end up with a worse or equal offer.
Visit a bank branch. You may be eligible for better offers at your local bank, especially if you’re a longtime banking customer and your account is in good standing. If you receive an offer from a bank that you have a long relationship with, you may have a better chance of getting approved than with other pre-approved offers.
Take advantage of check-out offers. Lucrative credit card offers may be available as you’re checking out with your credit card online or at a major retailer. Such offers are for co-branded cards or store credit cards, and you might even get a better-than-normal deal.
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